To start my four month trip to Australia I flew Qatar Airways Business Class from Munich, Germany to Adelaide, Australia, changing planes in Doha, Qatar. On previous trips I have flown to Australia with British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Malaysia Airlines and also Qantas. With all the amazing deals which have been available recently on Qatar Airways Business Class, I thought that I should book my next trip to Australia with Qatar Airways. There was also the added bonus of Qatar Airways being part of the One World Alliance, so I would earn Avios and tier points with British Airways for my flights.
Qatar Airways Business Class to Adelaide
Check in at Munich was effortless, with two separate queues for Qatar Airways Business Class we didn’t even have to wait and we walked along the purple carpet straight to a check-in agent. The check-in agent was polite, friendly and extremely helpful.
In Munich we had use of the British Airways Galleries lounge, but during the stop-over in Doha we could use the spectacular Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge. It was without a doubt the biggest lounge I’ve ever visited, and had absolutely everything you could imagine, from bars and restaurants to gaming rooms. If you are a smoker there is even a smoking lounge. I had just over 2 hours in the lounge so I used this time to have a shower, so I was refreshed for my next flight and then I relaxed with a drink or two while catching up on emails.
For both flights the boarding was very quick, with the Business Class passengers boarding first. I was shown to my seat, offered a welcome drink and asked if I’d like my jacket hung up for the flight. For the first flight I opted for a glass of champagne, for the second I chose the traditional Arabic lime and mint juice. After the drinks were served I was offered a choice of hot or cold towel, I opted for the hot towel on both flights. The hot towels were scented with rose water, which was extremely refreshing, and a very nice touch.
The aircraft which operated the Munich to Doha flight was the Boeing 787-8 ‘Dreamliner’ and the Doha to Adelaide was operated by the brand new Airbus A350-9XWB, for which Qatar Airways were the launch customer.
The Seat and Seat Area
The seats on both the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350 were the newest Qatar Airways Business Class seat, finished in the company grey and purple colours. The seats were a standard business class flatbed seat, in herringbone layout, all of which had direct aisle access, a feature which I like. The window glass on the 787 can be tinted to make it darker at the touch of a button, whereas the A350 has integral window blinds, also at the touch of a button.
Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
Each seat has a large TV, which is in a fixed position located just above the table. The wooden table reaches far out towards the seat, and folds out to make a full table for the meal service. The seat also has a two-tier wooden side table with integrated magazine rack, reading light, a small locker for valuables and a remote control for the entertainment system, which is located next to the armrest. There is another small draw under the seat in front for your shoes/slippers, and an adjustable foot rest at the end of the suite. There is also a panel built into the edge of the side table with full seat controls. Each seat is also equipped with a universal plug socket and USB socket.
The Business Class Cabin
The cabin itself was extremely tastefully decorated, in light neutral colours accented by grey and purple. On both aircrafts the ceiling was very high, and even more so in the A350, and this gave a very spacious feel to the cabin.
On the A350 there was a beautiful light dome over the bar area, which was also a lovely touch. The bar areas on both aircraft were standing only (no seating like they offer on the A380), and were finished in dark wood with black worktops, there was also accent lighting and Qatar branding. Another nice touch on the 787 was a window in the business class toilet. I don’t think you would need to dim the glass on that window, a loo with a view!
Qatar Airways Business Class has a very extensive wine and champagne list, with some delicious choices from around the world. Their Taittinger Comtes De Champagne Blanc De Blancs 2006, Billecart-Salmon Brut and Lanson Brut Rosé champagnes were delicious, so were their Château Brane-Cantenac Margeaux 2011 Bordeaux and Fox Creek Short Row 2014 Shiraz. They also offer a full range of spirits, soft drinks, beers and hot drinks if you prefer. Their 1992 Gran Cruz Colheita Tawny Port paired extremely well with the cheese selection on the first flight.
A full à la carte menu was available, on demand, in an order of your choice (until 90 mins before landing). Snacks and lighter options were also available.
During the two flights I sampled their classic arabic mezze, dill marinated prawns with smoked salmon, roasted tomato soup, grilled fillet of beef with horseradish jus, seared red snapper with saffron cream sauce and asparagus, spicy clear broth with seafood and much, much more. All of the food was served with complete professionalism, and the food itself was absolutely mouth-watering, and at premium restaurant standard.
As well as the small lockers located around your seat, each seat had the use of half of an overhead storage locker. This was due to the overhead lockers being located only above the window seats in the cabin. The absence of lockers over the middle section gives the space for the high vaulted ceilings in the centre section. There was, however, more than adequate amount of storage per person.
There was a huge selection of onboard films available on the entertainment system, as well as TV shows, music, games and interactive maps, in total over 3,000 different options. I watched a few films during the flight, and while I was not watching films (and while I was awake) I had the interactive map on the screen as I like to see where I am heading. There was also onboard wifi, however you get only 15 minutes complimentary, then you have to purchase any additional data. There are a few different allowances you can purchase. However, I do think that business class should be provided with free data throughout the flight, and the paid options should be for the economy cabin. There was also a small screen on the remote control, which enabled you to have the moving map displayed on this mini screen while you watch a film on the main TV, another nice touch.
The amenity bags on Qatar Airways Business Class are supplied by Giorgio Armani. Packed full of the usual items, but they also included Giorgio Armani branded products such as aftershaves/perfumes. Qatar Airways branded pyjamas and slippers were also provided.
Both the A350 and the 787 had small onboard bars in the business class cabin. However both of the bars did only have standing room. Each bar did have an open bottle of champagne ready at all times and glasses and snacks were available throughout the flight (apart from during take off and landing). You could request a drink of your choice at the bar at any time.
The crew onboard on both flights closed the cabin curtains after arriving at the gate to allow the business class passengers to disembark before the economy passengers were allowed through. Disembarking overall was very quick, on both flights we were in the terminal building within a few minutes of arriving at the gate.
All Qatar Airways Business Class passengers have their luggage priority tagged, so they will be the first out in the baggage reclaim area, which was the case upon arrival in Adelaide. I did however have an issue with one of my cases being mistakenly taken by another passenger on arrival, but the super-efficient ground staff at Adelaide Airport made some calls and managed to locate the passenger who had my case. Luckily they managed to get hold of the passenger before he had left the terminal, and quickly retrieved my case.
I was extremely impressed with all aspects of my flights with Qatar Airways as everything was to an impeccable standard. The overall product was on par with the other leading Middle-Eastern and Asian airlines and, in my opinion, a hugely superior product to the current British Airways Club World product. I would also go as far to say as the Qatar Airways Business Class on the 787 and the A350 is more on par with the current British Airways First product. I will definitely choose to fly Qatar Airways Business Class again, where available, on future long-haul trips.